iFollow Discipleship Resource

Discipleship: just about being spiritually "buff"?

by Dan Day, Director
NAD Church Resource Center
November 18, 2009


Adventists don't live in a gilded cage. We see what's happening around us. So, as we think about discipleship in a distinctly Adventist context-what we'll see in the upcoming discipleship resource from the Adventist Church in North America-we also want to understand it through the eyes of others, including the broader evangelical community.

As the website gotquestions.org puts it: "Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit...to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike."  They add: "This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit's prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God. This requires that we be in the Word daily-studying it, praying over it, and obeying it."

Gotquestions.org is associated with Calvary Theological Seminary, and while there is more on their definition of discipleship at their site, it is typically evangelical in that it sees the term primarily through the prism of spiritual gymnastics. A disciple is someone who "examines their thoughts, words and actions," who is "in the Word, daily," in order to "overcome the pressures and trials in this present life."

These are all good things, of course. Christianity has embraced spiritual disciplines all the way back to the time of the religious hermits in caves and desert hermitages, where monks secreted themselves from temptation. The Adventist community from its beginning has embraced the call for a deeper spiritual life.

The question is, does such a description adequately encompass the reality demanded by today's circumstances? Is discipleship just about getting really buff, spiritually?

It's the sort of thing that makes you go: "hmmm," doesn't it? The rest is yet to come...


Previous Articles

The iFollow Journey (Jul. 2, 2010)
The iFollow Discipleship Resource (Mar. 10, 2010)
Discipleship Elements: How to Become a Nurturing Community (Feb. 24, 2010)
Discipleship Elements: How to Grow in Christ (Jan. 28, 2010)
Discipleship Elements: How to Follow Jesus (Jan. 13, 2010)
iFollow: What It Is, and How to Use It (Jan. 1, 2010)
Discipleship: Learning a New Language (Dec. 16, 2009)
Discipleship: What Is It, and Why Should We Care? (Dec. 9, 2009)
Discipleship: Just About Being Spiritually "Buff"? (Nov. 18, 2009)
Discipleship: If We Saw It Would We Recognize It? (Nov. 6, 2009)